The food service industry is energy intensive, with some restaurants easily driving up energy bills into thousands of dollars every month. Fortunately, after food and labor, energy is one of the most controllable costs in food service operation. As you reduce energy usage, you’ll bring money back to your bottom line while becoming a more sustainable operation. From managing resources wisely to investing in energy-efficient commercial refrigerators and cooking equipment, here are four steps you can take to create sustainable food service.
Invest in Efficient Kitchen Equipment
If you’re in the market to buy new equipment, look for products that are Energy Star® labeled by the EPA. High-efficiency equipment help you save money on water and energy costs, and when you take advantage of state and local utility rebate and tax credit programs, your new products could have a nearly immediate payback. Fryers, steam cookers, hot food holding cabinets, refrigerators and freezers all have Energy Star models that can save over 40% in energy costs when compared to non-Energy Star models.
Maintain Your Existing Equipment
You don’t have to immediately run out and buy new equipment to have an energy-efficient kitchen. Start by maintaining the products you have and keeping them clean. The more debris and grease that builds up in and on your equipment, the harder they have to work to do their jobs.
Basic maintenance is critical to keeping commercial refrigerators running efficiently. Cleaning the vents, maintaining proper temperatures, and replacing torn or loose rubber gaskets will help you keep energy costs down and food stored safely.
Manage Your Water Usage
Energy Star-certified water heaters use 25% less energy than traditional commercial units, which will help reduce your overall energy consumption. A tankless water heater is one of the most efficient choices because it doesn’t waste energy storing hot water.
Dishwashers use a lot of water and energy, but you can reduce both simply by installing low-flow valves on pre-rinse sprayers. This helps cut water use in half on pre-rinse sprayers, saving hundreds a year in heating and water costs.
Look at Your Lighting
You can reduce energy costs on lighting without leaving customers or staff in the dark. If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs, make the switch to compact, high-efficiency fluorescents or LEDs, which can reduce lighting costs by 75% or more. They also last longer than traditional bulbs, offsetting the difference in upfront costs.
Embrace the energy-efficient power of natural light by installing light-sensitive dimmers. When the sunlight pours in, your lights will dim automatically. You can also install occupancy sensor in areas that don’t always see foot traffic, such as restrooms and storage rooms. When the space isn’t in use, the lights shut off.
Sustainability Starts with Imbera
Over the past ten years, Imbera Foodservice has reduced energy consumption in our products by 85%. You can find a complete line of environmentally-friendly, energy efficient commercial refrigerators from Imbera. Contact us today at 678-504-6835.